30+ Spooky Things to Do in Orlando for 2023

Living in Florida, we don’t experience the leaves changing color or crisp, fall nights, but that does not mean we don’t celebrate Halloween! In fact, Florida gets into the Halloween spirit early and there are often spooky things to do in Orlando starting in August. With so many fun events happening, I wanted to share my favorite ways to get into the Halloween spirit in Orlando.

This post has over 30 ideas for spooky things to do in Orlando. I have broken it up into haunted houses, theme park events, spooky bars, Halloween movie nights, kid-friendly activities, and more. The spookiness level can vary from silly pumpkins to nightmare-level scares, so I will be sure to mention the target audience with each attraction.

Many of these events are annual, but I will update this post each year with relevant information. Here are all of the Halloween activities to experience in 2023!

Spooky things to do in Orlando for Halloween

Orlando Haunted Houses

With the most innovative theme parks in the world located here, it is no surprise that Orlando takes Haunted Houses seriously. Here are six Haunted Houses (Not including Halloween Horror Nights at Universal) worth experiencing for some serious scares!

Spooky things to do in central florida

1. Mortem Manor Haunted House

For those wanting a scare any time of year, Mortem Manor is the only haunted house in Orlando open year-round. This two-door Victorian house was named one of the Scariest Haunted Houses in America by the Travel Channel and is sure to give anyone a spooky good time!

This haunted attraction consists of a walk through the manor complete with haunted film props and a few actors that provide jump scares. The attention to detail and design is unmatched, but many say it is not as scary as others. For an extra scare, you can do the “Buried Alive” simulator ride where you are alone in a coffin feeling what it is like to be buried!

Head to Old Town Kissimmee to try out this Orlando haunted house Wednesday through Sunday nights all year. It is $18 per person and lines are expected during the Halloween season.

2. A Petrified Forest Haunted Walk-Through

For a unique and spooky Orlando experience, A Petrified Forest offers haunted walks through the woods! Every October, this Altamonte Springs attraction offers walks through an actual forest where you never know what will jump out at you! Each year, there are 3 different trails with a different theme of why you are in the woods and what scary thing is happening there.

In addition to the haunted trails, there are haunted houses and a backstage tour so you can see how they put together the scares. There are also total eclipse nights where it is completely dark and the monsters try and steal your glow stick from you! They do have a kid-friendly day every year, but overall, this attraction is for teens and adults who want to get scared!

3. The Haunted Road

In 2020, drive-thru haunted houses became a thing for covid safety, and it turns out they are a lot of fun! The Haunted Road attraction is back for 2023 with an over half an hour-long haunted drive-thru experience. You are able to sit in your car and experience scares outside your car and through the radio.

Though quite scary, a lot of families found it enjoyable for kids since they are in their own car. There is also a barnyard section where you can get food and drinks and do a haunted walk-through experience. This spooky Orlando attraction was a huge hit in 2020, but many say it was not as impressive in 2021 and 2022. The verdict is still out for 2023, but hopefully, this attraction will be back up to the previous high quality and I will be sure to update this post with feedback once it opens.

spooky Halloween events in Orlando

4. Scream n’ Stream

Another haunted drive-thru worth visiting is Scream n’ Stream on Oviedo Mall Blvd. Though it is over in Oviedo, this is known to be the best drive-thru experience in Central Florida! It’s open every weekend in October with tickets starting at $74 per car.

This may seem pricey, but divided up by at least four people, it is less than $20 per person to experience seven different scare zones! Reviews say the experience is quite scary and probably not ideal for children under ten. The security of being in your own car may help some easily frightened kids or adults enjoy it more, so give it a try if you want some scares this Halloween season!

5. Scream-A-Geddon

Possibly the scariest thing to do in the Orlando area that isn’t in a theme park is the Scream-A-Geddon Horror Park. This Dade City attraction offers a completely immersive experience with six different haunted houses, for less than $50 per person. Locals say this is one of the best values you can get for some scares and is a nice change if you have already done Halloween Horror Nights and Howl-A-Scream.

Open weekends in September and daily in October, you can visit the park from 7 PM to at least 11 PM. In addition to the haunted houses, you can buy a separate ticket for a zombie paintball experience. There is also a food court and beer garden with refreshments for purchase. Though kids are allowed to enter with an adult, Scream-A-Geddon is very intense and scary and not recommended for kids.

Spooky Things to Do at the Theme Parks

With so many theme parks in Orlando and a couple nearby, there are plenty of spooky things to do for all ages. Each theme park has its own Halloween activity that usually starts in September, or sometimes earlier! I will walk through each of the options if it is included with admission, who the target audience is, and everything else to know about these spooky events!

halloween at Disney World

6. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal

Of all the spooky things to do in Orlando, Halloween Horror Nights is definitely the spookiest! Every September and October, Universal Studios is open after hours with a special ticketed Halloween event. There are ten haunted houses and five scare zones to take on, each with amazing thematic details!

I have never been because it honestly sounds too scary for me! But I know so many who love it and go every year. Tickets cost between $80 and $120 depending on the night. They also offer express passes for sale if you do not want to wait in line for the haunted houses. The event goes for over six hours and you will be sure to get plenty of scares in all night!

7. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney World

For a less spooky evening, Disney World’s beloved Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party is going on at Magic Kingdom select nights from mid-August until October 31st. This 8-hour event requires a special ticket that ranges from $119 to $199, depending on the night. You will get to see a Halloween parade, characters in costumes and you can even do some trick-or-treating!

I went as a child and loved it, especially dressing up in costume and seeing the different characters. Keep in mind that besides a few fall decorations here and there, this is the only Halloween offering at Disney World. This event is great for kids, but Halloween-loving adults will enjoy it too, especially Hocus Pocus fans.

mockeys not so scary halloween party

8. Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld

Over at SeaWorld Orlando, the park is totally transformed after dark into a scary, intense Halloween experience. Similar to Universal, there are Haunted Houses, Scare Zones, and spooky live shows. Howl-O-Scream takes place Thursdays through Sundays in September and October.

The event is about five hours long and costs between $38 and $50 per night. It’s a lot more affordable and less crowded than Universal, but there are fewer haunted houses. You can ride a few of the rides at night as well. This is definitely an event aimed towards adults with lots of jump scares around the park and bloody visuals.

9. Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Orlando

Another kid-friendly Halloween event near Orlando is at LEGOLAND. Though it is about an hour away, it is a great time for kids, especially elementary school-aged ones. Every weekend in October, the park offers Brick-or-Treat included in admission. This allows families to get candy and enjoy some Halloween entertainment.

In addition to trick-or-treating, there is a Monster Party with fun Lego characters. They also have a new fireworks show themed toward Halloween and some fun effects on rides. Kids can dress up and enjoy all the spooky fun during the day before it gets dark!

10. Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream

Not far from Orlando, Tampa has its own Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens. Since Busch Gardens is owned by the same company as SeaWorld, the events are pretty similar. The Busch Garden’s Halloween event has been going on for much longer though and has some more established haunted houses.

As of last year, this seemed to be the scarier event between the two, so it might be worth heading to Tampa for maximum scares. However, SeaWorld Orlando had a great line-up of haunted houses, so you can’t go wrong either way. This event is the same price as the SeaWorld one with similar dates and times. With three different spooky theme park events in Orlando, this is an ideal city for horror fans.

spooky things to do in Orlando

Spooky Special Events in Orlando

If you are not into haunted houses or theme parks, there are still plenty of other fun and spooky things to do in Orlando. This next section has some different types of Halloween activities from trivia to a ghost tour. Most of these just have a spooky essence and are not at all scary, but I will mention if they are. As more events are announced closer to the Halloween season, I will add them here.

11. Orlando Haunts Tour

For a spooky, supernatural experience, Downtown Orlando offers ghost tours all year! The hour-long Orlando Haunts Tours include 8 stops where you can learn about the ghosts of Orlando. This is a great way to get into the Halloween spirit without getting too scared.

Though you may see a ghost (!), the tour is more informative than scary, making for a fun evening activity. I think it is ideal for adults, as kids may be either scared or bored, but if your child is into ghosts they might like it.  Tickets start at $30 most nights, and on weekends you can make it a pub crawl as well!

12. Gaylord Palms Festive Fall Fun

If you are looking for a spooky Orlando getaway, The Gaylord Palms is the perfect hotel to visit. On weekends in September and October, the resort is transformed into a Halloween wonderland with all sorts of entertainment. Families can enjoy a Monster Mash Bash, the pirate treasure escape room, and a trick-or-treat expedition.

Guests can also see the Phantom of the Atrium show every day in October and attend a Monster Mash Bash! Between the decorations, Halloween movie nights, and entertainment, a Gaylord Palms staycation is a fun fall time for all.

Orlando Halloween bar

13. Zombietoberfest at Audubon Park

For a spooky night out without the scares, Audubon Park is having a Zombietoberfest Night Market on October 21st.  This is a one-night event where there is live music, a night market, beer gardens, and costume contests. This event is kid-friendly and has something for everyone!

14. Howl-O-Ween

Every year, Cranes Roost Park hosts a Howl-O-Ween at Cranes Roost Park. This is a dog walk-a-thon where pups can dress in costume and strut their stuff! They also have pet-friendly vendors, music and food trucks. Best of all, the proceeds raised go to a good cause that supports animal welfare.

15. Lake Nona Pumpkin Carving Workshop

Those looking for a crafty Halloween night should mark the calendar for October 12th. At Dockside Lake Nona, there is a pumpkin carving workshop taught by world-renowned pumpkin artist, Paul Dever. It’s a fun way to learn how to make a Halloween masterpiece.

Halloween brewery events in Orlando

16. Creepy Crawly Walk & 5K

If you are looking for something spooky to do in Orlando and offset all the Halloween candy, sign up for the Creepy Crawly Walk & 5K Baldwin Park! This annual run occurs the Sunday before Halloween and includes many participants dressed up while running. Whether you walk or run, Halloween 5K’s are my favorite because there are so many cool costumes and festive entertainment to enjoy.

17. Happy Friday Haunting Nights at Leu Gardens

One of the most unique Halloween things to do in Orlando is go to Happy Friday Haunting Nights at Leu Gardens. This is a weekly event where kids can trick-or-treat and meet a dancing bridge troll and adults can experience jump scares and enjoy decorations. Tickets are $15 and provide a fun Halloween experience for whatever you like.

18. Ghoulish Grooves Concert

Halloween fans will not want to miss The Ghoulish Grooves Concert at Dr. Phillips Center. There are only three shows so make sure to get a ticket ahead of time! The Florida Community Arts Big Band will play frightfully fun tunes for a spooky good time.

Spooky Bars to Visit

For a Halloween night out, there are a variety of bars in Orlando with events worth checking out. From bars that are always a little spooky to special pop-up events, here are some ways to get into the spirit with spirits!

spooky bars in Orlando

19. 13 Nights of Halloween at Cocktails and Screams

Cocktails and Screams is Orlando’s only year-round Halloween bar, so, of course, they go all out for Halloween! This year they have Slasher September with each Friday night having a spooky theme, specials, and entertainment. Between the creepy atmosphere and the enchanting potions to drink, this bar is an essential Orlando stop for Halloween fanatics.

20. Vegan Halloween Bash at Persimmon Hollow

For food, drinks, and Halloween entertainment, head to Persimmon Hollow Brewing at Lake Eola on October 18th. This afternoon of spooky fun includes a costume contest, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, and a market. Best of all, you can enjoy delicious vegan treats and pumpkin beer!

Orlando pumpkin patch

21. Milk Mart Spooky Soiree

One of my favorite breweries in Orlando, Sideward, will be participating in the Milk Mart Spooky Soiree, along with many other vendors and artists. On the first Sunday of October, head to the Milk District for this free, spooky event where you can shop, eat and drink. Be sure to check out the special food and beer options and get into the Halloween spirit.

Halloween Movie Nights in Orlando

If you like scary movies, there are plenty of places to see one in October! Many different spots in Orlando host spooky movie nights where classic Halloween movies are shown. Again, this section will be updated as we get closer to Halloween, but here are some spooky Orlando movie nights that have become a local tradition!

Orlando halloween movie night

22. Spooky Movie Monday at A La Cart

A La Cart really gets into the Halloween spirit with decorations, pumpkin beers, and a movie night! On October 23rd, you can watch fan favorite, The Craft in the courtyard. It’s totally free, but vendors will have special food and drinks for purchase.

23. Merrill Park Movie Night

Merrill Park is a lovely spot to watch an outdoor movie and there is a Halloween movie date night on October 13th. This year, you can watch A Quiet Place and enjoy food and drinks in the park. Bring a blanket and snuggle up for a spooky movie night.

24. Enzian’s Films of Halloween

Orlando’s only independent cinema, the Enzian Theater showcases scary movies every October with the 13 Films of Halloween. This includes specials all month long and even some family-friendly films. They even offer spooky, themed cocktails to go with it and a Halloween party and midnight show at Eden’s Bar on the last Saturday of the month!

25. Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre

For a retro Halloween experience, Lakeland’s Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre is worth the drive from Orlando. They have a Halloween Movie Marathon with five different spooky movies to watch like Gremlins, Dracula, and Little Shop of Horrors. If you rather just see one movie, there are showings throughout the month with movie options like Halloween.

Spooky, Kid-Friendly Things to Do

As a child, I was absolutely terrified of all things spooky. I wouldn’t even ride The Haunted Mansion until I was 10 years old! I know I am not the only one, so this last section includes Halloween events in Orlando for people who don’t want to get scared. These events are all kid-friendly and more focused on the cutesy part of Halloween.

spooky garden in Orlando

26. Gatorland Gator’s Ghosts and Goblins

Gatorland has some daytime Halloween fun for families all through October. In addition to the usual attractions at the Alligator Capital of the World, there are also costume parades, Halloween shows, a cryptozoological beast search, and some Oktoberfest music. Florida residents also get half off admission throughout the month, making for a wholesome and affordable spooky thing to do.

27. The Winter Garden Halloween Experience

Winter Garden is always an enjoyable place for families, but Halloween is especially a great time to visit. For the last couple weeks of October, the Downtown is transformed into a cutesy Halloween town. This includes a hay maze, a spooky caboose walk-through, decorations, Halloween lights, and a sidewalk sale. Winter Garden offers this event free to all with costumes encouraged any day of the week.

28. Orlando History Center Trick or Treat

Families who are looking for a safe indoor trick-or-treat experience in Orlando can visit the History Center and Orlando Public Library the Saturday before Halloween.  Here, kids can collect candy at different stations, as well as participate in creepy crafts and a scavenger hunt. It’s totally free and ideal for kids under twelve years of age.

Barista and Pupacinocostume

29. Avalon Park Spooktacular

Another event ideal for Halloween family time is the Spooktacular in Avalon Park. For one night only, downtown is open for a costume parade and trick-or-treating. Kids do not have to worry about getting spooked here and can instead play in the bounce houses and at other activity stations.

30. Screamin’ Green Hauntoween

For a creative way to celebrate Halloween, go to the Crayola Experience at The Florida Mall for crafts, scavenger hunts, and trick-or-treating. Starting towards the end of September, families can enjoy all the Crayola activities as well as Halloween fun like pumpkin painting and slime creation. There are 20+ hands-on attractions with something for kids of any age and costumes are allowed too!

Know Before You Go: Spooky Things to Do in Orlando

There is no shortage of spooky things to do in Orlando in 2023, no matter what type of spooks you are looking for! Locals have so many options all around the city for haunts, trick-or-treating, and parties that will make October a very busy month. If you are a tourist, I highly recommend venturing outside the theme parks to try a spooky local event as well. Here is everything to keep in mind while enjoying Halloween in Orlando.

  • Most of these events only take place in September and October. the year-round spooky things to do in Orlando include the Mortem Manor, the Orlando Haunts Tour, the Cocktails and Screams bar, and a visit to the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom of course!
  • Always use discretion when bringing kids to haunted houses and other scary attractions. Even if kids are allowed, make sure you know your child’s limits, especially with haunted houses.
  • If you plan to spend Halloween in Florida, expect warmer weather than the rest of the country. The temperature is usually above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and though it occasionally has a chilly night, you can usually expect it to be hot.
  • For events that go all week, I recommend visiting on weekdays to avoid crowds. I have been to local and theme park Halloween attractions and both can get very crowded on the weekends.
  • Regarding theme park crowds, Disney World and Universal have very high crowd volumes in October. September and weekdays are much less crowded if you want to get the most out of your ticket.
  • For info regarding parking and times for many of these events above, I recommend finding the event on Facebook or its own website. Facebook especially will have any last-minute updates and ticket information.

What’s your favorite spooky thing to do in Orlando? For more fall events (spooky and otherwise), check out my guide to Fall Things to Do in Central Florida! And if you are already in the jolly spirit, I also have a guide for Christmas Things to Do in Florida.

Halloween events in Orlando